Palaces For The People

“Palaces for the people” was a phrase used when businessman Andrew Carnegie donated money to build 2,950 libraries across the world. I have been rereading the book Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg which focuses on the value of shared spaces. When these shared spaces or social infrastructure is abundant, neighborhoods flourish. I thought of the places where I have spent a considerable amount of time and the libraries that are present in these communities.

The library could have the appearance of a roman colosseum such as the Vancouver main branch or be much smaller and not as grand in its architecture, but all are places or palaces where everyone is welcome and there is a warm sense of hospitality where everyone’s interests are appreciated. These also are those places where people can bump into others and be in a welcoming shared space.

The book is prompting me to be more attentive to those shared spaces and what is happening there.

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